Pan-Roasted Maple-Brined Pork Chops

Serves 4.

Note: A maple syrup and salt brine, along with a brief roast in the oven, keep these pork chops moist and flavorful. From Meredith Deeds.

• 4 c. water

• 1/4 c. maple syrup, divided

• 2 tbsp. salt

• 4 bone-in pork chops, no thinner than 3/4-inch

• 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Mix water, 3 tablespoons maple syrup and salt together in a large bowl. Place pork chops in brine mixture and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard and remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup; put half in a separate bowl.

Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with pepper.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Lay the pork chops in the skillet. Sear until the undersides of the chops are seared golden, 3 minutes.

Remove from heat. Flip the chops, brush with half of the Dijon-maple glaze and transfer to the oven.

Roast until the pork chops are cooked through and register 140 to 145 degrees in the thickest part of the meat with an instant-read thermometer. Cooking time will be 4 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chops. Start checking at 4 minutes, as you don’t want to overcook.

Transfer the cooked pork chops to a plate, brush with remaining Dijon glaze and pour any pan juices over the top. Tent loosely with foil and let the chops rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 250 Fat 14 g Sodium 580 mg

Carbohydrates 2 g Saturated fat 4 g Total sugars 1 g

Protein 29 g Cholesterol 80 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Exchanges per serving: 4 lean protein, 1 fat.